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Proceedings Paper

Long-term observations of the particle environment surrounding the MSX spacecraft
Author(s): Gary E. Galica; B. David Green; Mark T. Boies; Richard C. Benson; O. Manuel Uy; Jeffrey C. Lesho; Bob E. Wood; David F. Hall
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Paper Abstract

We present a summary of the particle environment surrounding the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) satellite after 32 months on orbit, including two discrete particle releases produced by micrometeoroid or debris impact. We report on the characteristics of that environment, including particle occurrence rates, velocities, size distributions and trends in the environment. To our knowledge, the long term particle contamination observations that we have made on MSX are the first of their kind. The particle occurrence rate decreased steadily during the first year on orbit, but then remained at a constant level after 32 months on orbit. Our estimate of the total number of particles on the spacecraft surfaces at launch. We conclude that environmental effects such as UV, radiation, thermal cycling, and micrometeoroid impacts are a significant and continuing source of particles on orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2000
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4096, Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation II: Effects, Measurements, and Control, (20 September 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.400833
Show Author Affiliations
Gary E. Galica, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
B. David Green, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
Mark T. Boies, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
Richard C. Benson, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
O. Manuel Uy, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Jeffrey C. Lesho, Sensors for Medicine and Science, Inc. (United States)
Bob E. Wood, Sverdrup Technology, Inc. (United States)
David F. Hall, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4096:
Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation II: Effects, Measurements, and Control
Philip T. C. Chen; O. Manuel Uy, Editor(s)

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